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Arts grant boosts theatre's community links

An historic theatre is set to stage the next act of its "comeback" thanks to a major Arts Council grant.

Debbie Thompson at St George’s Theatre

St George's at Great Yarmouth is gearing up for a busy programme of community projects and events aimed at strengthening its links with the town and its people.

It has been made possible by a £43,500 community engagement grant to staff and promote a wide range of shows and activities.

They include:

·         A 10-week project working with teenagers being supported by the Mancroft Advice Project in town who will choose, create, rehearse and perform a play of their choice in the autumn.

·         A musical production, possibly based on Shakespeare, involving the theatre's 30-strong resident FABBA group for adults with learning difficulties.

·         A piece of "verbatim" theatre with young writer James McDermott working with people on the Middlegate Estate to tell their real life stories in their own words - to be staged in early 2020.

·         A free Magusto event for the Portuguese and international community celebrating the traditional November 11 feast of cooking and roast chestnuts, with the screening of a Portuguese film, and Fado folk music.

·         A youth production for eight to 25-year-olds  based on the Our House musical featuring the songs of pop group Madness.

·         Adding children's shows, plus new contemporary dance and drama, into the main theatre programme.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: "We are thrilled to get this grant to help develop our audience and establish St George's as a community theatre. I had a similar grant support at Sheringham Little Theatre 17 years ago which resulted in the annual audience growing from 9000 to 33000- so it does work."

St George's received a lifeline from the borough council in January which staved off the risk of closure as the landmark venue, in a former town centre church in King Street, struggled with historic debts and costs.

Issued on behalf of St George's Theatre on 18/06/19

Last modified on 01 August 2019

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